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Asthma is a chronic airway disease characterized by inflammation and swelling of the walls of your airways, and may be triggered by things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they get narrower, and this causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing, especially at night and in the early morning. Asthma cannot be cured, but most people with asthma can control it so that they have few and infrequent symptoms and can live active lives.


When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it is called an asthma episode or attack. Asthma attacks are not all the same—some are worse than others. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that not enough oxygen gets to vital organs. This condition is a medical emergency. People can die from severe asthma attacks, even patients with mild or intermittent symptoms at baseline.

So, if you have asthma, you should see your primary care physician regularly. You will need to learn what things cause your asthma symptoms and how to avoid them. Your doctor will also prescribe medicines to keep your asthma under control.

Taking care of your asthma is an important part of your life. Controlling it means working closely with your doctor to learn what to do, staying away from things that bother your airways, taking medicines as directed by your doctor, and monitoring your asthma so that you can respond quickly to signs of an attack. By controlling your asthma every day, you can prevent serious symptoms and take part in all activities.

If your asthma is not well controlled, you are likely to have symptoms that can make you miss work and keep you from doing things you enjoy.


Chronic cough is usually caused by either asthma, chronic allergic rhinitis with post-nasal drip, or by acid reflux. Outlined below is a quick overview of each of these three common causes:

Asthma - Due to the chronic inflammation of the bronchi asthma can cause a persistent cough sometimes worse at night time.

Chronic Rhinitis With Post-Nasal Drip - Symptoms include itchy throat, a bad taste in the mouth or the feeling like something is caught in the throat. Postnasal drip is a very common symptom of allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. Identification of possible allergies and treatment of allergy symptoms, and treatment of sinusitis if present is essential to treat a cough caused by post-nasal drip.

Acid Reflux (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux) - While most people think of heartburn as the main symptom of GERD, three out of four patients with GERD will suffer from a chronic cough, with or without heartburn symptoms. GERD is best treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and medication.